On Valentine's Day in 1829, a group of 12 courageous pioneers kindled a spiritual flame in Columbus, Georgia. Ephesus Baptist Church of Christ was organized in a small room on Broad Street at a meeting of "four men, seven women, and a slave named Joseph." This early church later became First Baptist Church of Columbus, Georgia. Within a year of its organization, the congregation of Ephesus Baptist Church of Christ began planning a permanent place of worship. After the state of Georgia granted the church two acres of land, the northern half of a city block, construction began on a wood frame building measuring about 1, 100 square feet and costing about $800. In 1840, the first building was moved to the back of the lot and a brick building was erected, seating about 500 worshipers. Dr. J. H. DeVotie, who became pastor in 1856, had a vision and challenged the congregation to erect one of the first commanding houses of worship in Georgia. A Greek Revival structure with a Gothic steeple was dedicated on October 25, 1859. Measuring 7, 700 square feet, it would seat over 800 worshipers. The new worship center would cost about $25, 000, including the organ. Much of the architectural design has been attributed to a deacon of the church in the 1850's Mr. N. Nuchols. Today, worshipers First Baptist Church of Columbus can admire the beauty of the sanctuary that was Dr. DeVotie's vision. Many changes, additions, renovations, structural modifications, and new construction have provided many new looks as well as functional space demanded by church growth. The Lord has blessed First Baptist with exceptionally beautiful facilities. First Baptist has always been missions minded. As our Sunday School, Women's Missionary Union, and children's mission organizations developed, our membership sustained a heightened sense of stewardship that has resulted in significant contributions to missions and benevolence. Programs are offered that give the membership a wide variety of opportunities to serve God by serving others.
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